Cats and dogs find themselves in all sorts of situations that require veterinary care, whether they go through the trash can or develop chronic skin allergies. In some cases, your pet may suffer from more serious illnesses, such as a fractured leg or cancer. When your furry pal requires veterinary care, no matter the reason, financial assistance can be a huge relief when you are faced with their treatment costs. Pet health insurance can pick up a large portion of the tab, and can prevent the need for you to make a difficult financial-based decision. Read on for answers to your questions about pet insurance.

Question: Will pet insurance save me money in the long run?

Answer: The most common question that pet owners ask when considering pet insurance concerns the cost savings. According to a recent Synchrony study, owning a pet for 15 years can cost up to $55,000, so pet owners naturally want to save money where they can. A pet insurance policy—no matter how comprehensive—can cover some pet care costs, but not cover everything. However, pet insurance can save you a great deal on medical-related costs, such as diagnostic testing, illness and injury treatment, ongoing prescriptions, and wellness care. Over the course of your pet’s lifetime, pet insurance can help shoulder a large amount of veterinary costs. 

Q: How can pet insurance help cover pet care expenses?

A: A wide range of coverage is available, depending on the insurance provider and policy you choose. For example, policies can pay out a set amount per year, over your pet’s lifetime, or for a certain condition. This means that your policy may only pay so much of your pet’s allergy treatment during their lifetime, so check carefully for such restrictions. Additionally, policies are further categorized by their coverage, such as accident and illness only, or wellness and specialist care.

Q: What is the difference between pet insurance policies?

A: Pet insurance policies are generally divided into different coverage tiers that include:

  • Accident and illness care — Accident and illness coverage is the bare-bones package, but is crucial for helping you cover the cost of your puppy’s foreign body surgery or your pet’s fracture repair. These policies are best for your pet’s unexpected costly health issues. 
  • Wellness care — While you may not need wellness care coverage if you budget for your pet’s annual preventive care costs, insurance can help cover dental cleanings, parasite preventives, and vaccinations. However, you must decide if wellness coverage is important, because not all insurance providers offer wellness policies.
  • Alternative therapies — An alternative therapy policy is typically an add-on policy that covers holistic treatments, behavior modification, rehabilitation after surgery, and other therapies that fall outside the standard preventive care and sick and injured pet treatments.
  • Comprehensive care — Comprehensive care is exactly that, and covers a wide range of treatments. While comprehensive policies cost the most, they also provide the most coverage for any of your pet’s veterinary needs.

Q: What factors should I consider when choosing a pet insurance policy?

A: You need to weigh many factors when choosing a policy. Consider the deductible versus the premium, the amount of coverage you would like, and if your pet has any pre-existing conditions. If your pet is a breed prone to certain illnesses, such as hip dysplasia, heart disease, or allergies, opt for a policy that provides coverage for congenital or hereditary conditions. Overall, weigh the benefits you receive against the cost.

Q: Which pets should have pet insurance?

A: All pets should have insurance coverage, whether you choose a simple accident and illness plan, or a more comprehensive package. While putting aside money into an emergency fund for your pet is a great idea, consider the expense of certain conditions. For example, if you want to pursue treatment for your pet who develops cancer, that may cost thousands of dollars. Chronic conditions, such as diabetes or allergies, can cost hundreds of dollars per month for routine monitoring tests and treatment. Pet insurance can cover a large amount of these costs, allowing you to save for uncovered expenses.

Q: When should I get pet insurance for my pet?

A: Ideally, you should purchase an insurance policy for your pet as soon as you welcome them home. Beginning coverage on day one minimizes the potential that pre-existing conditions will be excluded from coverage, and you will have peace of mind should your new furry pal become ill or injured in their first few days home. However, no time is too late for pet insurance—a customized policy will still provide beneficial coverage for your pet and your wallet.

Since enrolling your pet as soon as possible will ensure pet insurance provides the most benefits, start now by scheduling your pet’s necessary physical exam for coverage. Give our Greenfield Veterinary Clinic team a call to schedule your pet’s appointment.